RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY
PDT Staff Writer
NEW BOSTON — The Rent 2 Own store in New Boston has volunteered to spend up to $30,000 and countless hours cleaning up Village Square Park across the street from its store on Rhodes Avenue.
“I’m from this town, and when you go to a lot of stores people are from a lot of other areas. But I know this community has been through a lot lately, and I look at this park and see kids in the neighborhood playing. I know our funds are limited, but I wanted to give them something good this year. Something they can keep for years to come,” Assistant Store Manager Brittany Tatman said.
Tatman easily gained the support of her managers and corporate office in Bainbridge, Ohio. Then she brought her idea to New Boston Village Council on May 15 to ask their permission to clean up the park and install new playground equipment. Council unanimously agreed, with a vote of five ‘yes’ and one emphatic vote of ‘absolutely’.
With council’s approval, Tatman and others at Rent 2 Own immediately began discussing plans for the park. First they will strip the chain fence and paint it red — the color of New Boston Schools and Rent 2 Own. They’ll dig out dead bushes and tree stumps, repair holes in the grass, and install a large wooden sign with the park’s name and history inscribed.
“Around all the equipment, we’re going to put some mulch and rock to keep the kids safe,” Tatman said. “We’re going to clean-up and re-paint existing equipment and change out the hardware to make sure it’s safe.”
They will also add a new roof to the shelter house, new park benches, a new slide, a climbing dome, new swings, new basketball equipment, and soccer goals. The entire project will cost nearly $30,000, Tatman said.
Because the store is donating so much of its own time and money, the park will also feature Rent 2 Own branding on some of the equipment. The sign outside will read, “New Boston Village Square Park, sponsored by Rent 2 Own.”
“We’re going to go ahead and start on the landscaping, digging the tree up and getting that patched. We’re hoping to start everything else mid-next month (June). We want it completely finished, open and workable by the end of July,” Tatman said.
The store will be responsible for maintaining the new landscaping and park equipment, but Tatman said they would welcome any help the village offers.
Formerly on Gallia Street in Portsmouth since 1992, Rent 2 Own built a new store in the New Boston Kmart shopping center in September. Tatman said the new store has been much busier than they were in Portsmouth, with a location along the main highway.
Ryan Scott Ottney can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 235, or firstname.lastname@example.org.